Some days ago there’s been the news that IBM is going to build their own server farm with the Second Life server side on it.
Well, frankly said, I can understand them. That convoluted mess that Second Life today is is all but a worthwile investment if you’re a company. If you want to have a good experience with it, better stay away from the main grid and build your own farm, your own island.
If you’re thinking about investing in SL, better do it when the grid has more stabilized. At the moment this would just be a great waste of money in my opinion given the bad performance all inhabitants of Second Life have been experiencing since months now.
The rollling restart today has been very unusual and a royal pain in the ass. Sims have been offline longer than usual, asset server is working slowly or not at all and teleport hiccups have been there, too.
All in all something we all don’t really need, I am glad when it’s finally over.
[Update]: There’s now a new blog entry by Neuro Linden (yes, a new one) about what happened and went wrong with the last update. Basically two things, first some errors in the way they made the new “aggressive” update (and Thursday is going to be another rolling update, but using the old system) and second an error with two VPN servers. So we are going to see what the next rolling update is going to bring us. Yeah!
It’s been a while since my last blogging spree that I’ve posted any new article at all. So, without much foreword, some new thingies:
- Dedric Mauriac blogged about the in world building of Packaging and Converting Essentials. Seems he really likes the place.
- The picture that I made of the P&CE building is now used in their in world ad with permission. Nice. Perhaps I should start a career as photographer in Second Life. Then again my photo editing skills are surely not high enough, I am more a technician than anything else.
- A change of one of the last updates that not everybody has notices comes into effect now — you can spend maximum 999.999 L$ per classified now instead of 99.999 L$ before. This means the maximum went from something like 357 US$ up to 3571 US$ per week. And there are already ads in the system where the author of it plays around 200.000 L$ per week for it, that’s about 714 US-$ for the sum in real money. So these guys are either very wealthy or making much money in world already.
- Some days ago the Second Life Herald run an article about ageplay. While normal ageplay is nothing to say against it, there’s also sex ageplay in the game (child escorts/teen escorts), and this seems to has a market, too. Now how sick is this? It’s even against the law in many countries. Of course, the normal ageplayers are not against the law at all, but the growth rate is amazing: 1 % per week. This means exponential growth of course and is something that cannot go on forever.
- The next planned downtime this week brings us again no update of the primary client, while the First Look client got some of them already. Could be, that they need the whole timeslot, could be not. But they should finally take some time to fix the most annoying bugs in the main client, namely the inability at the moment to offer teleports to avatars who are not your friends and the annoying water-bug. Or they should finally setup a source repository and give some well accredited programmers from the community write-level access. Then it would have already been fixed since ages!
- Here’s another blog entry from a journalist of the Handelsblatt about SL in general. The essence of it is: Second Life is mostly an Empty Life, sex is the most driving force behind the in world economy, rw companies normally don’t blend in real well and it’s overhyped at great lengths. Period.
- And now for something completely different: wannabe terrorists planned to attack a very important Internet node in London. They were captured before they could act on their plan. This still shows us: without a first life there’s no second life and we should be thankful they were captured beforehand.
What’s the use in running a scheduled downtime from 5 hours in under 2 hours, which looks first like great work, when then some hours later the inventory database has hiccups and issues are showing up again? I don’t know.
After not posting entries for some days, I’ve got to dequeue my queued posts now. So, with no further delay here they are:
- SL had terrible problems yesterday. They bunch varied from not being able to login to problems with teleporting up to problems with the assets. So it was unsafe to use the inventory at all. This reminds us: when you really want to do business in SL, the platform tends to be fairly unstable. Count that always in. The whole drama lasted over 10 hours. Hopefully it is over now.
- Zee Linden posted an Excel spreadsheet about the key measures of SL. Very interesting read, you should give it a read. There are some big differences from SL’s statistics to other games, and it shows. For example:
- The time of hours spent online per month seems to grow exponential at the moment.
- There is a big growth in land. But the area covered by private islands is 2.5 times bigger than by the mainland (102.72 square kms mainland compared to 258,08 square kms private islands).
- Also again: big economy growth in world and big growth in the sales of the LindeX.
- Also as it seems a big exponential groth in the number of residents at all, but the number of premiums more in some kind of linear growth, also taking off right now, too.
- The top 100 countries of the residents: 31.19% from USA, 12.73% from France, 10.46 % from Germany, 8.09 % from the Netherlands. I would have thought that more people are coming from the USA, but it shows that the audience of SL is truly international and not dominated by US residents only. So this leads of course to separated communities and some gated communities, too.
- Average age on the main grid: 33. Bummer. Now this is really worth mentioning it. The audience in SL seems to be much older than in other online games, which makes it of course more interesting for commercials, real life companies entering it and so on and on.
- More males using it than females (58,89% male compared to 41.11% female), though the female population keeps growing and growing.
- RL issues are coming strongly into SL, too, right now and this is going to be a big, big thing. Mainly: violation of copyrights. It is the title theme of The Avastar from last week. Only because there were not really actions taken against some people because SL was not on the radar of the companies and copyright holders at all does mean that it is safe to use copyrighted material. On the contrary, RL copyright of course applies also to the in world. This is a lesson people should have learned from the booming days of the Internet already, but history seems to repeat itself right now. For example they are interviewing King Pascale who sells his articles under real life brand names like Gucci, D&G, Chanel and so on. Now this guy seems to come from Denmark. The graphical ad for his shop looks like this:
To cite him:
I don’t do anything illegal. Producing articles and use of real life brands is forbidden. However, I don’t only sell on what other people create for me. I got it in writing from the Lindens that it was not illegal to sell on RL brands.
Dude, you are sooo wrong! When a brand is copyrighted, it can be applied to several fields. For example the name of a computer must not apply to gardening utilities and so on. But what you are doing is to use the already established brand names to sell your own goods and make your own profit out of them. Read my lips: when a brand owner/copyright owner is going to sue you, and this is bound to happen sooner or later, you will be sued. Period. Don’t take the naive stance, it is not going to help you. Only a letter from the Lindens is no absolution that never anything will happen to you or binding legal consultation at all. Go to a lawyer with experience in this field and ask him for a consultation in that matter — and be quick! Be so quick!
- Of course violation of copyright does also include streaming music, videos and much more fields to cover. With the rush of RL companies into SL expect them to take some actions against it. Otherwise you’re naive.
- Another matter if importance are the still way too much high prices for land on the mainland. The prices are still not falling down, despite some other opinions. It seems that there are still land buying bots in the grid, buying new land under your feet. The Lindens should really do something about it, like introducing Captchas and other countermeasures. This is getting frustrated.
Well, since SL was down over half the day (or even more…) and there was no possibility to login, what’s the addicts second best choice? Right: reading some posts in the blogosphere about Second Life and thinking about it.
So I here now present in no particular order my todays choice of articles about SL and stuff:
- SL History Wiki entry about Aimee Weber. Very interesting read about one of the leading content builders in here.
- Amy Weebler’s 2007 Second Life Predictions. A very fun read, for example:
Linden Lab will be sold to Google, who will ALSO be unable to get search to work properly.
- Wall o’Residents. Jeska Linden’s photo stream on Flickr with some very interesting photos of LL employees.
- Aimee Weber and the AvaStar: “Corporate Love”. An interview with Aimee Weber, who was one of the chief builders of the AvaStar island in Sl. It was a very interesting read for me in the Metaverse Messenger. The AvaStar is a tabloid, made by the German Axel Springer Verlag, who also publishs the famous Bild-Zeitung in Germany, Europe’s biggest yellow press paper. Aimee Weber gives us some piece of her mind and thinks that the Second Life Herald only always mocks on SL and celebrates griefers. Well, I guess not all people are going to be with her opinion on this point.
- Prokofy Neva’s blog with an article named “The REAL Awful Stuff”. It is a very important read for anybody, mainly because it shows how leaving and saying too much stuff in SL can ruin your privacy in RL. Prokofy Neva writes about how a well known griefer named Plastic Duck aka Gene Replacement (here’s an interview with him) was able to pinpoint the real life persona of Prokofy Neva and how the avatar Prokofy Neva is being harassed in SL on and on. If these accusations are not false, we talk about some heavy stuff here, including identity theft and cyberstalking. I guess if Prokofy Neva is able to pinpoint Plastic Duck down in RL he for sure is going to sue him. This is also a very important read for everybody to understand that you cannot care too much about your own privacy! Sooner or later it can for sure backfire on you, you never know who’s out there.
And of course the obligatory link of the day about the downtime of SL: “Second Life vorübergehend geschlossen”, courtesy of Heise Newsticker (German). Second Life is called a “internet playground” in the article — well, this for sure fits!
Well, another downtime of the server, again. What should have been only a small downtime turns out to be a major downtime — again. They are updating the central storage hardware — oh well. Since more and more business keeps getting into SL and is made in SL it is for sure time that LL thinks about some efforts to achieve a better availibility, since these downtimes lately simply said tend to piss off many residents.